Are the Polls Trending for Trump?
Commentary By Brian C. Joondeph
Several weeks ago, presidential opinion polls showed Joe Biden with a double-digit lead over Donald Trump, like the supposed lead Hillary Clinton enjoyed four years ago. Despite prognostications of an almost certain Clinton victory, reality provided a different story ending.
Will the big media be right this election cycle, or are they repeating their folly from the last election?
Rasmussen Reports, one of the most accurate pollsters in the 2016 election, shows a significant narrowing in its White House Watch poll, from a 12-point Biden lead two weeks ago to a 3-point lead a week ago. Now it’s Trump by one.
In the Rasmussen Reports daily Presidential Tracking Poll, comparing Trump’s job approval today with Obama eight years ago, they have about the same approval numbers, varying by a point or two. Obama won his reelection eight years ago easily. Rasmussen also shows Trump holding a three-point lead over Biden in crucial Florida. In other key states, Rasmussen found Biden up by two points in Ohio with Trump up by one point in North Carolina, a toss-up as far as polls go.
Other polls echo Rasmussen Reports. The most recent IBD/TIPP presidential poll also demonstrates a tightening race with Biden now leading Trump by only 2.3 points, well within the margin of error.
Gallup finds Trump’s job approval rating at 46%, close to his all-time high of 49% several times earlier this year. And asking an important question of not who you want to win but instead who you think will win, Trump tops Biden 56% to 40%.
When Gallup asked registered voters, “Are you better off today than you were four years ago?”, 56% of registered voter said yes, compared to only 32% saying no.
Trafalgar Group correctly predicted Trump winning key battleground states in 2016, and for 2020 they are forecasting Trump’s reelection. They project a minimum of high 270s in Electoral College votes, “possibly going up significantly higher based on just how big this [hidden vote] undercurrent is.”
Chief Trafalgar Group pollster Robert Cahaly explains their methodology. Aside from shorter and simpler surveys, they measured the “neighbor question” - who do you think your neighbor is voting for?
Although blacks comprise only 13% of the U.S. population, they have voted almost exclusively for Democrat presidential candidates. No recent Republican presidential candidate garnered more than 10% of the black vote, Trump winning only eight percent in 2016.
This year may be different. As The Washington Post asked recently, “What’s happening out there with black men and Trump?” Support from rappers Ice Cube and 50 Cent can’t hurt.
Are polls again this year understating Trump’s support? Cato Institute found that 62 percent of Americans have political views they are afraid to share, including 77 percent of conservatives. Only staunch libers feel they can freely express themselves. That includes to pollsters.
Then there is the energy and enthusiasm of the two campaigns. Joe Biden on Sunday called “a lid” on his campaign with no more in-person campaigning until the election - after he claimed to be running against George Bush.
Donald Trump, on the other hand, is holding two or three rallies a day, increasing to four or five per daily in the final days of the campaign, each rally drawing tens of thousands of supporters.
Unmeasured by any pollster are the local outpourings of Trump support, unrelated to official rallies, especially in Democrat strongholds like Beverly Hills, Brooklyn, and New Jersey. Conservative Treehouse posted a collection of tweets showing huge parades and rallies in electorally blue territory, in contrast to Harris/Biden events which can’t draw more than a few dozen attendees.
There appears to be a palpable shift in electoral momentum in the final weeks before the election. But the ultimate poll on Election Day will be the final arbiter.
Brian C. Joondeph, MD, is a Denver-based physician and freelance writer for American Thinker, Rasmussen Reports and other publications. Follow him on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Parler and QuodVerum.
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